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Buying Land in Sri Lanka

If you’re a first-time land buyer, the process of buying the right plot can feel like quite a daunting task. But actually buying a land can be far more romantic than buying bricks and mortar. You feel as if you are acquiring your very own share, however small, of planet Earth. And although there are a few pitfalls, purchasing a land is generally simpler than purchasing property. It can also, potentially, be just as lucrative.

Here are our top tips on what to consider:

Perhaps you see land as a better investment than stocks and shares or other assets. Perhaps you want a site to build your own home, or perhaps you want to become a smallholder. You certainly need to have some long-term plan for the plot because it will determine what and where to buy.

Greenfield land, which has never been developed, is different in character from brownfield land, which has been built over previously. They are distinct markets and, in some respects, subject to different planning requirements.

There is a large variation in land values being achieved at present. Depending on location and quality, you need to develop a feel for the market and for what it is reasonable to pay for your piece of land.

There is usually plenty of land on offer at any time, although not all of it is publicly advertised. To start your search, there are specialist land agents dotted around the country. Land auctions are another option, if you are prepared to move quickly. But you should also be alert to other potential sources of land, e.g. homeowners who are happy to sell a patch of land at the edge of their property.

Some plots of land are sold with planning permission already granted, although this is often only ‘outline’ planning permission – you will need to clear the final details with the planning authorities (relevant council). Be wary of restrictive covenants or other legal restrictions on your freedom of man oeuvre.

An empty field may not look as if it needs to be given the once-over by a chartered surveyor. But there are potential hidden snags with land purchases, from boundaries and rights of way to flood risks and overhead power lines. It is always best to be on the safe side and to seek professional advice.

You are not likely to make a quick profit on a field in the present climate, so it is sensible to play the long game and try to judge the optimum time to develop on the land or to sell it.

If there’s a house or other structure on the property that must be demolished, you have a couple of options. A mechanical demolition with excavators and heavy machinery will take a house down the fastest but will cost more, while a smaller-scale demolition by hand will be cheaper but will require more time.

Smells and sound – Always be on alert for nearby drainage ways that may carry polluted water or other garbage dumps or garbage recycling plants. Be aware of public buildings or other establishments that may cause a lot of noises. Both this factors can affect your peace of mind.

Natural Hazards - Obtain a natural hazard disclosure and look for soil problems. This is the best way to assure you that there won’t be anything to cause you worries in the future.

Elevation - If the land is located near hills, how likely is it to move? Some slab foundations can crack if the land is unstable.

Utility service – Always check the utility bill status of the land before buying. You might need to change the water and electricity bills/facilities under your name before starting to build anything. Consider this procedure before buying.

Land access – Pay attention to the accessibility of the land. The sizes of the roads and by-roads are extremely important, especially considering the type of building you are going to build.

Buying land will probably feel a bit unfamiliar at first and may take you out of your comfort zone. But do your homework and do not lose heart. Happy hunting!



How to Choose a Contractor

Have you ever had a bad experience with a construction company? If so, you are not alone. A lot of business and facility owners have had a negative experience when working with a construction company on their project. Therefore, to help you, we have put together what you should be looking at when choosing a construction company to build your future home.

Perhaps you see land as a better investment than stocks and shares or other assets. Perhaps you want a site to build your own home, or perhaps you want to become a smallholder. You certainly need to have some long-term plan for the plot because it will determine what and where to buy.

Greenfield land, which has never been developed, is different in character from brownfield land, which has been built over previously. They are distinct markets and, in some respects, subject to different planning requirements.

There is a large variation in land values being achieved at present. Depending on location and quality, you need to develop a feel for the market and for what it is reasonable to pay for your piece of land.

There is usually plenty of land on offer at any time, although not all of it is publicly advertised. To start your search, there are specialist land agents dotted around the country. Land auctions are another option, if you are prepared to move quickly. But you should also be alert to other potential sources of land, e.g. homeowners who are happy to sell a patch of land at the edge of their property.

Some plots of land are sold with planning permission already granted, although this is often only ‘outline’ planning permission – you will need to clear the final details with the planning authorities (relevant council). Be wary of restrictive covenants or other legal restrictions on your freedom of man oeuvre.

An empty field may not look as if it needs to be given the once-over by a chartered surveyor. But there are potential hidden snags with land purchases, from boundaries and rights of way to flood risks and overhead power lines. It is always best to be on the safe side and to seek professional advice.

You are not likely to make a quick profit on a field in the present climate, so it is sensible to play the long game and try to judge the optimum time to develop on the land or to sell it.

If there’s a house or other structure on the property that must be demolished, you have a couple of options. A mechanical demolition with excavators and heavy machinery will take a house down the fastest but will cost more, while a smaller-scale demolition by hand will be cheaper but will require more time.

Smells and sound – Always be on alert for nearby drainage ways that may carry polluted water or other garbage dumps or garbage recycling plants. Be aware of public buildings or other establishments that may cause a lot of noises. Both this factors can affect your peace of mind.

Natural Hazards - Obtain a natural hazard disclosure and look for soil problems. This is the best way to assure you that there won’t be anything to cause you worries in the future.

Elevation - If the land is located near hills, how likely is it to move? Some slab foundations can crack if the land is unstable.

Utility service – Always check the utility bill status of the land before buying. You might need to change the water and electricity bills/facilities under your name before starting to build anything. Consider this procedure before buying.

Land access – Pay attention to the accessibility of the land. The sizes of the roads and by-roads are extremely important, especially considering the type of building you are going to build.

Buying land will probably feel a bit unfamiliar at first and may take you out of your comfort zone. But do your homework and do not lose heart. Happy hunting!



How to Choose a Contractor

Have you ever had a bad experience with a construction company? If so, you are not alone. A lot of business and facility owners have had a negative experience when working with a construction company on their project. Therefore, to help you, we have put together what you should be looking at when choosing a construction company to build your future home.

The first thing you should be taking into consideration when you are on the lookout for a construction company to handle your project, is their licensing. You must make sure that you are hiring licensed professionals that can handle the job in the most professional way.

Construction companies that have been in business for a long period of time are the best ones to handle the job. They have the needed experience. You will feel more confident in hiring them if they can back up their claims by providing previous work examples.

This is probably the most important thing. If the company is offering a much lower price compared to their competitors that is usually the biggest “No, no” sign. They will probably use cheap materials and handle the construction project poorly. There are extreme risks when you are hiring a low-cost construction company.

The company should give a realistic timeline for the project. They must break that timeline into milestones, so you can know what and when to expect things to happen. However, if a company gives you an unrealistic timeline and state that they will finish the project in a short period of time, you should reconsider hiring that company.

Take some time to investigate the company. Ask for recommendations by other people you know in the industry, or simply ask the company to state some of their clients and contact them to hear about their experience with the company. If the company has a long history of satisfied customers, they will surely provide an excellent service for you too.



Real Estate Agents

A real estate agent is more than just a sales person. A real estate agent may act on your behalf, providing you with advice and guidance when buying or selling a home. Due to the constant changing of the market, the information available on listings is not always 100% accurate. There are times when you need the most current information about what has sold or is for sale, and the only way to get that is with a real estate agent.

You don't always need to use a commissioned real estate agent to sell your home, but you may want to consider the benefits of having a real estate agent versus not using a real estate agent.

In addition, many people would rather use an Agent due to the complexities of modern Real Estate transactions since they usually incorporate legal and financial attributes, which takes them well beyond more simple transactions, such as the sale of an automobile.

There are several advantages when using a real estate agent to sell your home, such as - your listing will be added to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so that large numbers of buyers will have access to the seller's property. In addition, your real estate agent absorbs all of the cost of advertising and marketing, and the screening that will be done of potential buyers by Agents. The Agent will also handle the details of negotiation.

Deciding whether to use an Agent or not depends on if you feel fully confident that you can handle all of the details, then you may well want to attempt selling your house on your own. If not, you most likely will want to use a real estate agent and leave the details to them.

Typically 3% to 5% of the property value in a Sale and One Months’ rental for a 2 year Lease Agreement.

Generally paid by the seller.

A buyer’s fee may apply if an agent acts as a buying agent.

It is advisable to clarify at the outset whether the seller, buyer or both parties are liable for an agents’ fee.

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